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The Champion’s Mindset with Olympian Dr. Jeff Spencer

What is the mindset for success, and how do champions achieve it? In this episode, I discuss the answer to these questions with Dr. Jeff Spencer, Olympian and cornerman to the stars.

"It takes every ounce of courage that you have to go against the grain of what your fear-based instincts tell you."

Dr. Jeff Spencer

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Success is an internal game, so how do you develop the mindset you need to achieve it? Where do you start if you’re losing hope, confused, or can’t believe in yourself? According to Olympian Dr. Jeff Spencer, champions know a secret most of us don’t: we have two mindsets within us.

The Two Mindsets

The Human Mindset:

  • This derives from the instincts we are born with.
  • Our primitive brain is calibrated towards survival and is used in times of imminent danger. It has ‘first dibs.’
  • The human mindset can only repeat history; it can’t make it.
  • It perpetuates ineffectual habits that prevent us from moving forwards towards a bigger future.
  • When faced with a dilemma, it asks: what do I stand to lose here? It’s pessimistic, fatalistic, and demotes our confidence.

The Champion’s Mindset:

  • Our modern brain is calibrated towards only excellence.
  • While it doesn’t have first dibs, it does have the final say and the capacity to override our natural human instincts.
  • It’s able to create and make history by breaking habits that no longer serve us and allowing us to move forward.
  • When faced with a dilemma, it asks: what do I stand to gain here? It’s optimistic and looks forward to a bigger future.

The conflict we feel in our decision-making is a battle between our human and modern brains. Champions know they have to fight that every day. You must ask yourself: from what side of the aisle will I make my decisions?

How can you fight it?

Be mindful

  • As humans, we can’t shut off the human mindset. It’s based on fear and survival and is part of our biology.
  • Be aware that the human mindset is not the choice we made, but the choice that’s hardwired into us.
  • We can override it through the application of the champion’s mindset.

How can you spend more time in the champion’s mindset?

Make a conscious commitment to the champion’s mindset BEFORE the day begins

  • Every morning, declare to yourself: I have a choice. How will I show up today? Who will make my decisions?
  • Jeff Spencer has a chart that reveals the criteria of each mindset and how each mindset addresses life’s challenges.
  • Make a deliberate choice on how you’ll show up.
  • This decision must be made in the morning because if you wait until later in the day, you’ve already started reacting and won’t get anything done.
  • This self-awareness is not dogmatic and ritualistic but deliberate and scheduled.
  • Deliberately contemplate the fact that you have an opportunity to create a quality day. Show others it’s possible to break the chains of the past.

How Each Mindset Reacts Differently:

  • When given accountability, the human mindset says, “I’m doing the best I can!” The champion’s mindset says, I”ll find a way.”
  • The human mindset says, “I have to be perfect to be able to perform at my best. The champion says, “It’s not about perfection; it’s about a few things to do right now to move the needle.”
  • The human mindset asks, “What can you give me?” The champion’s mindset says, “What can I give you?”
  • The human mindset says, “I feel fear so I won’t try.” The champion’s mindset says, “I feel fear, but I’ll do it anyway.”
  • The human mindset says, “I’ll whine.” The champion’s mindset says, “I’ll win.”
  • The human mindset says, “I wish I was like everybody else.” The champion says, “I was given a brain, body, mind, and spirit to do something with.”

Living In The Champion Mindset:

  • These are simple, real things you can do every day to develop a champion’s mindset.
  • These reminders should serve like your essential daily nutrient.
  • Know who you are and who you aren’t.
  • The human mindset is something that was put into you.
  • The champion’s mindset is the real you.
  • You must earn it by applying it, and you must keep it by staying vigilant to it.
  • To learn more about the champion’s mindset and take advantage of Dr. Jeff Spencer’s 55 years of experience, visit Dr. Spencer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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